These enigmatic pieces were created from solid blocks of wood; some have been left natural and others coloured or textured for effect.
In late 2017 and through 2018 Nick (as Professor Bergenstrauser - Victorian/Edwardian Romantic and Steampunk Engineer) has explored an 'industrial' theme in his turning and combined it with influences from the popular Steampunk genre.
The underlying concept was to use wooden items to create and illustrate a traditional 'Boys Own' adventure story similar to Terry Gilliam's Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
Crucible - an alchemist's dream
The journey began with a piece called 'Crucible', which was made from Sycamore with the large 'flask' turned, hollowed and scorched from Northumberland Ash. The piece consists of an alchemist's flask with flames of metalic elements. The crucible sits on a firepit of yellow coals based on a 'rusty ' factory floor on which coals and industrial debris are scattered. The 'rusty' base is made from sycamore and coated with sand and acrylic paint. The whole piece stands 280mm high on a 280 mm diameter base.
The 210mm high cylindrical plinth and the 'steam boiler' with gauges were also turned from sycamore and added to give a Victorian 'steampunk' element. The copper pipes and elbow joints are the only non-wooden items. For an exciting video with music click here
This piece was part of Northumbrian Woodturners Association's winning entry in the Border Woodturners' Open inter-club competition in November 2017. It was chosen as Member's Choice on the Woodworkers Institute Forum in December 2017.
Pipes, tricylinders and Prof B's Trimaginator
Nick started to create these unusual pieces at the end of 2017.
They involved wood turning using multiple axes and considerable thought, planning and precision.
The basic underlying unit is a wooden cube which has been hollowed and turned to produced 3 cylinders which intersect at right angles. The geometric name is a 'tricylinder'. The surface of each has been treated differently to produce the 3 pieces seen here.
The 'rusty' and 'shiny' pieces were made from cubes of sycamore with 100mm sides.
The 'Steampunk' inspired piece was made from ash and scorched when finished. The source wood was 'green' (freshly cut) and developed multiple splits and cracks during its creation. The binding is with 1mm copper wire.
This piece was combined with a plinth of scorched ash with coils of copper wire to produce Prof B's Trimaginator - a trully steampunk creation. Which has been applauded by both woodturners and steampunk afficionados alike.
Prof' Berganstrauser's Egg Baker & Coddler
This wonderful contraption is entirely made of wood except for the straight copper pipes and elbows. The holders and the faux-copper heat-exchanger are turned from sycamore and coloured. The whole was designed by the Prof' to use steam power to cook and keep warm his favourite breakfast eggs.
Timed with fantastic accuracy to cook to perfection.
The delicious eggs are made from Cherry wood with the whites and yolks painted on.
This piece was chosen as Member's Choice of the week on the Woodworkers Institute Forum 23/3/2018 and as the AWGB Turning of the Month for April 2018
Breakfast with the Alchemist
This combination piece is probably the culmination of Prof' Bergenstrauser's 2017/8 adventure in the company of Daisy Daisy, his co-pedaller, on their tandem journey to visit the Alchemist to discover how to turn wood into gold.Their adventures have been chronicled in various postings on the AWGB and Wooworker's Institute forums and on FaceBook. It is composed of several of the pieces listed above with the addition of the Prof's Hot Chocolate maker and a frying pan complete with sausages. Sadly the best they could produce was a copper sausage but they may continue to search for that elusive GOLD.
This piece won Nick (and the Prof') Amateur Woodturner of the Year 2019 in the British Woodturner of the Year Competition held at The OXO Gallery, South Bank London in May 2019. Breakfast with the Alchemist then went on display at the gallery from 8th to 19th May.